Ha! When I get home from work I will throw off my fancy clothes and get immediately into good gardening gear. And then, and then... I'm starting my big, major, thoughtful, rational and logical clean-up for the Garden Club visit. Specifically, I will start doing the paths. And I will not move off to some other task until all, absolutely all, the paths are passable and tidy.
Cat-Door for Lilli-Puss
Friday 29th January
Lilli-Puss the grey cat has been going missing for days. But I've found her hanging around the fence-line near the Stables. So yesterday I put a pet-bed and a feeding bowl in the Stable's tiny middle room, which actually has a cat-door. I showed Lilli the Stables room, fed her in there, and she hopped in and out of the cat-door a few times...
This Bridge is Blocked By Gunnera
This morning - voila! Out she came to say hello (and eat some more). Please, please, please let this be a new beginning.
One path is done - the small one behind the glass-house. I've weeded out thistles and trimmed Phormiums, and even dug out a grass which was drooping over the path. It took ages, though. I suspect I need to do more than one path a day in order to finish just this part of the clean-up in time. Eek!
And Willow Bridge is completely blocked by Gunnera. To negotiate such an obstacle could be really scary, and I don't want any of the lady visitors ending up in the water race.
Saturday 30th January
Two plant details which I'd rather avoid - the Renga Renga which edges the paths around Rooster Bridge is ready for dividing and replanting. And I need to pot up some ornamental grass plants from seedlings in the middle of the path.
Lilli-Puss on my Knee
So far so good - I've taken food lots to Lilli-Puss in her new 'home' and she comes when I call. We sit together on the Stables seat for a cuddle, with Lilli purring her rasping purr, then off she trots into the cat door to eat some more. Can I turn her into the Stables cat? I hope so.
Some bags of Solomon's Seal have arrived from a gardening friend - where should I plant them? And Son of Moosey will work for me some mornings the coming week. Yippee! I will have gardening help. Right. Today my work is easy. Find some shade. Clear a path. It's really hot.
'43eeeeeeeeeee' - a cryptic message from my ginger cat Percy, who loves me and has been shadowing me all afternoon. I have been working so hard! My first job was to clear some stone steps which lead through a gap in the Olearia hedge and past my new dark green garden bench, chairs, and table (complete with retro tea-set).
Purple petunias are flowering in a tall terracotta pot nearby. It's a great little spot - and now it can be reached without tripping over a strand of ivy or a stray potato plant.
Bantry Bay Roses
And yes - yet another path is cleared - the tiny path in front of the glass-house which ducks underneath the apple tree. I planted a golden leafed Escallonia on its edge, knowing that these shrubs trim well, and my goodness - it looks absolutely beautiful. It's next to a large Frau Dagmar Hastrupp rose which has already gone delightfully 'hippy'. The big Complicata rose on the other side got a bit of a trim, and I scraped up loads of weeds.
- Fire Bucket :
- My bonfire is close to the water race - very sensible.
A slight miscalculation to end the day - I lit the bonfire and wandered off, just as the wind changed to the south. Oh dear. My 'emergency' buckets of water were put to good use - it's no fun having flames and smoke swirling around 360 degrees. Foolish me - my timing was out by about fifteen minutes.
Tomorrow we are going to the river to get more stones - I'd like to get the path behind the pond (which leads to my new white garden seat) edged. I think the Garden Club ladies will like that - a path through a secret leafy area to an obviously stylish garden seat.
The Moosey Driveway
Sunday 31st January
I've had breakfast on the Stables seat with Lilli-Puss. I've taken my two ginger boy-cats Fluff-Fluff and Percy for a garden walk. Rusty the dog has had a pat and two triangular dog biscuits. Minimus the little grey cat has had her cuddle, Histeria the tabby too. Who have I missed out? Kaya the black cat is still 'in bed'. And Tiger the senior cat - Tiger! Good morning! Tiger is busy checking out all the cat food-bowls. Hellooooooo! Tiger! Over heeeeeere!
Today, when Non-Gardening Partner comes back from fire practice, he'll get the river stones. Me first - I have a new plan (I'm allowed, since it's only me) and I am going to stick to it. It needs a list, and boy! This list had better work. It's chronological...
Garden Work For Today
- Finish clearing around the Frisbee Lawn (Lilli-Puss can be cat-company).
- Burn this rubbish (oops - check weather first).
- Clear paths in Wattle Woods, burn rubbish.
Then and only then can I stop for a rest - perhaps sit somewhere in the garden with a book. And hopefully I won't see too many things to do as I'm relaxing. It's funny the different levels of detail one sees (or misses) in a garden clean-up. Big things like dead tree branches, tiny annoyances like weeds and gum leaves in the patio pots. The answer is simple - be consistently vigilant somewhere in-between? Or try and see absolutely everything...
- 'Gardening is easy when one sticks to a list.'
- -Moosey Words of Wisdom.
Right. It's three hours later and I'm inside for lunch and a short crowing break. I've nearly finished my list! Gardening is easy when one sticks to a list. So perhaps I should make another list for later this afternoon? No, no - that would be a bit excessive. I'll just drift about, nipping a branch here, dead-heading a rose there, and enjoy the end of successful gardening day. And so, without further ado, I will return and get those Wattle Woods paths in order.
I've finished for the day. We picked up a trailer load of stones and I've edged the paths behind the pond. The look is magical - suddenly the shrubs look as if someone cares about them. The white seat looks even more stylish, if this is possible.